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Parents typically have the right to make decisions regarding the care and upbringing of their children. However, there are times when this is not in the child’s best interest.

A grandparent who in this situation may want to seek custody of their grandchild. This can be a difficult process, but an attorney at our firm could help you with filing for custody of a grandchild in Alpharetta.

When Could a Grandparent Obtain Custody of a Grandchild?

In most cases, Alpharetta courts will attempt to keep children in the custody of one or both parents. However, there are some circumstances where a court would consider placing a child in the custody of a third party, including grandparents. Some situations where a court may do this include:

  • Both parents were determined to be unfit
  • Both parents consent
  • There was substance abuse in the child’s home
  • One or both parents suffered from mental illness
  • There was a documented pattern of abuse or neglect

If other relatives are also seeking custody of the children, the court will have to determine what placement would be in the child’s best interest. Factors such as whether the child has been living with the grandparent may weigh heavily in favor of granting custody to the grandparent.

The Best Interests of the Child

In any custody case courts will consider the best interests of the child as one of the most important factors. Grandparents typically are given preference over non-blood relatives, but when other relatives are also seeking custody of the child the court will look at several factors to determine the child’s best interests including:

  • The ability of the grandparents to meet the needs of the child
  • The wishes of the child
  • The strength of the relationship between the grandparents and the child
  • The ability of the grandparents to provide love, affection, and care for the child
  • The age, health, and financial situation of the grandparents
  • Evidence of abuse or neglect by the grandparents

Anyone considering filing for custody of a grandchild in Alpharetta may want to become familiar with what factors the court considers when determining the best interests and how they may apply to a specific case.

Grandparent Custody when Parents Are Deceased

It is very difficult for a grandparent to obtain custody of a grandchild if one or both of the parents object. Courts may be more likely to consider grandparents as custodial parents in cases where the parents of the child are deceased.

If a custodial parent dies, the presumption is to place the child with the other parent. If, however, there is no living parent, or the other parent is unwilling or unable to care for the child, the court will generally favor placing the child with a relative.

Grandparents will be most likely to obtain custody if the parents left a will naming the grandparents as the guardians of the child. Grandparents are also more likely to get custody if the child is already living with the grandparents or wishes to live with them.

Get Legal Help with Filing for Custody of a Grandchild in Alpharetta

If you are considering filing for custody of a grandchild in Alpharetta you should understand the situations in which a court will grant custody to a third party. Typically, courts will presume that children should remain in the custody of one of the child’s parents. In cases when the parents are both deceased or have been deemed unfit, courts will consider third-party custody.

However, grandparents may still have difficulties obtaining custody if another relative is also seeking custody of the child. Contact our team today for help with filing for custody of a grandchild in Alpharetta.

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